12:13 Oct. 12, 2016
Monitors do not record gunfire overnight, complain those living near the front line
Residents of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol slammed OSCE monitoring mission for failing to report everything that happens on the frontline. Local activists are indignant that international monitors are not documenting numerous cases of fire and explosions that happen at night time.
Head of the OSCE mission in Mariupol was asked why the monitoring is conducted only at daylight.
"Even during the day time, we do not have freedom of movement, and representatives of both sides do not provide us with the security guarantees. We can not drive around at night because the area is mined, and we are afraid of shelling," explained the OSCE representative.
It is not possible to put surveillance cameras everywhere due to terrain features, and again because of mines, the OSCE added.
According to the recently signed framework agreement on pullback of forces from certain areas, OSCE is tasked with monitoring the process and recording any violations of the deal.
However, Mariupol activists say, the mission does not technically implement its part of the Minsk agreement. Namely, in the area of Petrivske village where the forces were recently withdrawn from, the monitoring is not conducted round-the-clock, but only till 4 p.m.
The area around the port city of the Sea of Azov, for a long time seen as a key objective by the combined Russian-separatist forces, has been a new hotspot in the Donbas war zone in the past days.
Over the weekend Mariupol direction experienced the most intense fire in comparison with Donetsk and Luhansk sectors.
The tendency continued later on when three consecutive days of mortar, artillery, machine gun and sniper fire resulted in heavy losses for the Ukrainian Armed forces.
Two Ukrainian servicemen died on October 10-11, eight more were wounded. On Wednesday Ukrainian military spokesman reported more casualties – four servicemen suffered injuries as Russian-backed forces mounted 44 attacks.
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